As the Internet grows every day, so does the likelihood of a cyberattack on your CPA firm. Cyberattacks are “an attempt by hackers to damage or destroy a computer network or system,” according to Google.
While eliminating electronic use isn’t a viable solution, Cetrom is. We have a few tips to protect your CPA firm from cyberattacks.
Monitor your financial statements. Paper statements are long gone. With their departure, electronic financial statements are emailed between CPA firms and big companies. This gives cyber attackers a split second to capture your information.
As soon as you receive or send a financial statement, be on the lookout for fraudulent behavior for about 30 days afterward.
Sign up for real-time alerts. Because CPA firms handle a variety of credit card information, set up a real-time alert for any “off” activity.
According to Forbes, “Most banks and credit card companies have real-time notification services that allow them to contact you in the event of a purchase attempt deemed ‘unusual.’”
Don’t respond to shady emails or phone calls. If you don’t recognize an email address or phone number, don’t share sensitive information with them. Also, don’t open any zip files, download attachments, or click links from these untrusted emails. It seems like common sense, but these continue to be the most effective methods of cyberattacks.
Keep your information super private. Unfortunately, your information and financial data are under constant threat of a cyberattack. If a company’s finances are breached, it falls on you.
Forbes suggests, “When searching new websites, to ensure its security, make sure there is a closed lock symbol at the bottom right of the screen. Web addresses that begin with ‘https’ are generally secure, and if you click on the lock symbol on the bottom right, it will display the same ‘https’ address.”
Even if you use a secure website, it’s important to change your passwords. Strong passwords are a key to preventing cyber-attacks. Avoid using birthdays, Social Security combinations, addresses, and other personal (and easy-enough-to-find) information. Be creative in creating new passwords by using a combination of lower and uppercase letters, numbers, and characters.
Learn about common scams. Educate everyone in your CPA firm about common techniques and tactics that cyber attackers use. Set up a Google Alert for news on big company data breaches or ransomware attacks. If you’re aware, you’re prepared.
Invest in identity protection. Identity protection services offer real-time monitoring of financial information, transactions, and other sensitive data. If you’re not convinced by identity protection companies, invest in a cloud service like Cetrom.
On top of basic services, we offer enterprise-level security. Accountants are trusted with extremely sensitive company data, from salaries and annual taxes to everything in-between. Protecting this data from cyberattacks is a huge challenge, but the cloud offers a solution.
Cetrom offers three layers of security. It begins with physical security, which includes armed guards, biometrics, pre-approved clearance, restricted access, and other measures for our two geographically dispersed cloud data centers.
Next is logical security, which includes enterprise-level firewalls, multi-layered virus and spam protection, intrusion prevention, daily backups, encryption, two-factor authentication for sign-on access, user-defined permissions, and an on-site server backup.
Finally, we invest in methodological security or the “human factor.” This means confirming that every manual process is approved by multiple cleared users and following strict industry best security practices to block hacking. No cyber attacker is getting through our security.
For more information on how Cetrom can help protect your CPA firm from impending cyberattacks, click below: